Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Cars 2 is Stuck in Neutral

Plus, Bad Teacher doesn't quite pass the test.

by | June 24, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got animated autos (Cars 2, with voice work from Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy) and execrable educators (Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake). What do the critics have to say?



Cars 2

39%

Pixar’s output has been so good for so long that it seemed unfathomable that one of the studio’s films would get a less-than-rapturous response from critics. Well, all good things must come to an end, and that now includes Pixar’s streak of Certified Fresh releases; critics say Cars 2 looks fantastic, but the studio’s trademark storytelling prowess and character development is MIA here, and the result is a decent animated feature that must count as a big disappointment, given the standards that Pixar has set for itself. This time out, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is off to a big international race with his best buddy Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) in, ahem, tow. Soon, though Mater finds himself in the middle of a secret espionage mission. Will he still be able to help Lightning in his quest to be the fastest car in the world? The pundits say Cars 2 is visually delightful, but its plot is uninspired, and it’s over reliant on gags and shtick instead of an interesting story. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run though Pixar’s filmography in chronological order.)



Bad Teacher

44%

There’s no shortage of tasteless Hollywood comedies in the world, but it’s rare that a movie gets criticized for not being tasteless enough. However, such is the case with Bad Teacher, which critics say has moments of raunchy hilarity but doesn’t quite fulfill its outrageous premise. Cameron Diaz stars as Elizabeth, a boozy, wildly inappropriate middle school teacher who’s looking for a sugar daddy so she can leave her job behind. Elizabeth falls for a hunky substitute teacher (Justin Timberlake), but she’s got a rival for his affections, and soon, her scheming and bad behavior starts to affect the whole school. The pundits say Bad Teacher benefits from a sharp performance from Diaz, but it sags in spots, and it’s never quite as wild and transgressive as it should be.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

Nat Geo Trailer spy thriller ghosts book Sci-Fi Red Carpet TCA spain harry potter Teen GLAAD Writers Guild of America anthology DirecTV Kids & Family TLC GoT Mary poppins Super Bowl LGBT LGBTQ 20th Century Fox The CW FX Mindy Kaling BET Tumblr crime thriller 2019 Marathons biography Winners Pop Star Wars green book DC streaming service Infographic Captain marvel justice league comic theme song crossover toy story Mary Tyler Moore CBS Creative Arts Emmys sequel mockumentary Binge Guide Western crime drama Syfy cults strong female leads discovery zombies Trivia Summer ESPN Countdown El Rey Music Masterpiece Ovation New York Comic Con A&E festivals Anna Paquin Film Musical Amazon space PBS Animation series CBS All Access Apple dceu Holidays binge Shondaland Marvel Video Games Lifetime Nominations dramedy OWN Crackle docudrama talk show kids Sundance 2018 adventure Interview cooking natural history Chernobyl RT History Epix Valentine's Day Superheroe social media nature Comics on TV Spike Photos 21st Century Fox Vudu spider-man vampires 71st Emmy Awards Fox News Nickelodeon VICE Black Mirror spanish language Hulu Disney streaming service Set visit hist animated Cosplay SundanceTV Sundance Now spinoff Ellie Kemper Universal streaming Country FXX Columbia Pictures Elton John ABC Family HBO RT21 diversity NYCC Rocketman dragons dc San Diego Comic-Con Sony Pictures 007 TIFF boxoffice DC Comics Bravo Lionsgate Brie Larson war Winter TV Shudder BBC America National Geographic AMC Disney Channel romance TBS witnail singing competition comiccon Mudbound Emmys Awards Tour Amazon Prime Mystery cars YouTube Red Thanksgiving Awards APB Rock CMT hispanic latino E! Paramount Network Emmy Nominations Martial Arts psychological thriller CW Seed WGN politics miniseries Dark Horse Comics Pixar ratings BBC tv talk Trophy Talk Family Grammys Walt Disney Pictures Podcast supernatural technology Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Comic Book Sneak Peek Paramount television E3 game of thrones south america The Arrangement Women's History Month GIFs unscripted MSNBC TNT richard e. Grant X-Men Showtime MCU TCA 2017 thriller Opinion First Reviews Action Lucasfilm Disney DC Universe Reality Competition quibi Spectrum Originals based on movie Tarantino zero dark thirty Television Academy Logo Adult Swim Year in Review First Look casting Premiere Dates doctor who MTV Toys Netflix Esquire WarnerMedia Rocky Extras transformers Calendar Certified Fresh Watching Series Pride Month cats Horror YA Heroines FOX aliens Box Office medical drama PaleyFest period drama jamie lee curtis stand-up comedy mutant IFC Films Biopics Character Guide disaster Britbox finale Acorn TV sports Chilling Adventures of Sabrina NBC movies Pet Sematary Film Festival 2015 Ghostbusters ITV game show cinemax Pirates American Society of Cinematographers true crime political drama Freeform science fiction cops Peacock TV golden globes Best and Worst Drama Polls and Games anime DGA award winner Musicals sitcom 24 frames serial killer children's TV zombie teaser Quiz Election USA Reality police drama Mary Poppins Returns Schedule Stephen King historical drama Tomatazos Christmas Spring TV what to watch President Star Trek composers Oscars IFC Cartoon Network VH1 adaptation TV Land Comedy Central TruTV psycho elevated horror revenge 2017 ABC Warner Bros. Rom-Com TCM History USA Network Comedy Fall TV SDCC Arrowverse video Fantasy robots See It Skip It Superheroes CNN facebook 2016 travel 45 foreign SXSW Starz The Witch Food Network blaxploitation crime Amazon Prime Video Cannes HBO Max Song of Ice and Fire YouTube Premium